A fellow business owner was talking about creating a PayPal QR code to make it easier for customers to scan and pay for goods without swiping a credit card. I’m intrigued! What do I need to do to produce one of these for my own business? I do have a PayPal Merchant account.
The concept is quite appealing; imagine you have a photo that your customers can scan with their phone, enter the amount they owe, and press submit to pay their bill. No hands touching credit card machines, no need to even pull a credit card out of their wallet or purse. Whether you’re worried about germs or just trying to make the transaction as easy as possible for your customers there’s lots to like! Well, as long as they have a PayPal account set up on their phone. Then again, maybe that’s not a constraint. Let’s have a closer look…
First off, QR is “quick response” and you see these codes all the time. QR Codes are an evolutionary step from bar codes that significantly remove the need for proper orientation. It’s a square of tiny black squares with larger orientation squares on three of its four corners. You can scan them in any orientation and it’ll work just fine. In fact, on Apple iPhones, QR scanning is built in to the camera app, though few realize it. You can try it with this very article: Try taking a photo of one of the QR codes presented below! On an Android phone, you might need a QR scanning app or you can use the PayPal app itself if it’s to pay a merchant.
To create a PayPal official merchant QR code log in to your PayPal account from a Web browser. Then look at the menu along the top and find Pay & Get Paid:
See it on the lower right? “QR Code”. Choose that.
That’s good news: Use QR codes and until July 30, 2020 you won’t be charged a transaction fee! After that time has expired, it goes to a 1.9% transaction + $0.10 per transaction fee. For a $50 transaction that adds up to $1.05, not too bad, particularly compared to VISA or Mastercard transaction fees.
Choose “Generate Your QR Code” and you’ll be done:
That image is my QR code for my merchant account, by the way. Try to take a photo of it or scan it and you’ll be connected to my AskDaveTaylor.com account. Like this:
For a customer, this makes it really easy to punch in the amount, press “Done” and they’ve paid. You’ll get an immediately notification on your mobile device to confirm the receipt of funds. Transaction complete.
That QR code generated can be saved as an image file and then printed onto a sheet of paper, added to receipts, sent to a sticker company like StickerGiant to integrate into some fun point of sale stickers, whatever you’d like.
However, if you have fixed price items, there’s another way to generate a QR code that’s a bit more complex, but allows the price to be pre-loaded into the scan. Let’s say that you sell t-shirts. They’re all the same price, $25.00. Instead of making customers type that into their app, why not have a QR code that includes the price?
You can do that with the terrific paypal.me service. It’s a URL shortcut that lets you share a link with people that includes the transaction amount:
My merchant ID is ‘askdavetaylor’ so I can build my own URLs with the formula
paypal.me + / + merchant ID + / + amount
The t-shirts in the above example are then paypal.me/askdavetaylor/25
Easy, but that’s a URL, not a QR code. For that pop over to the great service qrstuff.com:
Notice on the lower portion I specify that paypal.me URL and choose “Static”. The QR Code in the top right? That’s now a PayPal shortcut for a $25 transaction in my merchant account. Not too complicated!
When someone scans that QR code now, they’ll end up here:
Clean, simple, elegant. Now you know how to create a generic QR code for your merchant account on PayPal and how to use qrstuff to create QR codes for specific transaction amounts to simplify things even further.
Note: QR Stuff asks that you pay for a business account if you’re using the site for commerce, as this example most certainly is. I encourage you to pony up the few dollars and support them. Thanks! 🙂